Contents, Overview - State Library of Victoria

Contents, Overview - State Library of Victoria


Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

2008–09 Overview

Collections, Content

and Information


Access and Engagement

Infrastructure, Skills

and Partnerships


Financial Statements

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

The Board’s last annual report documented

the strong appetite for the Library’s services,

with 1,583,883 visits (a 38 per cent increase

on the previous year) made to Swanston

Street. The year just concluded saw

sustained demand for, and use of, the

Library, with 1,528,533 visits. Despite this

pressure, the Library’s annual survey of

customer satisfaction tells us that 92 per

cent consider the Library is either exceeding

expectations or doing a very good job.

One reflection of the prevailing economic

climate is that the use made of the Library

by the unemployed has almost doubled,

to 13 per cent (from 7 per cent last year).

The support of the Victorian

Government is critical to the success of the

Library. Given the exigencies of the global

financial situation and the priority that must

be accorded to reconstruction following the

savage bushfires of February, the Board

welcomed the increase in operational

funding announced in the 2009 State

Budget. Nonetheless, the Board continues

to be deeply concerned about the financial

pressure on the Library, a matter signalled

in my report last year. The demand for the

Library’s services and the increased cost

of doing business are severe constraints.

They affect all aspects of the Library’s

operations and its capacity to harness

technology. The Board has made, and

will continue to seek, savings in a most

conscientious manner but will also consider

economies that will affect services.

The Library’s site at 328 Swanston

Street is a significant one for community

and culture, and the investment in its

redevelopment over the last 25 years has

been inspiring. This investment continued

over the year with the comprehensive

redevelopment of the south-western

portion for the Centre for Books, Writing

and Ideas and its resident organisations.

Building works are scheduled for

completion in the latter half of 2009, when

we will welcome our new neighbours.

The Board was delighted that the

2009 State Budget earmarked $1 million

to enable master planning for the

redevelopment of Queen’s Hall. As I have

noted already, the popularity of the Library

is such that there are compelling cultural,

community and educational reasons for its

redevelopment. This assistance will enable

preparation of a detailed master plan and

updated business case.

The Board is diligent in searching for

additional financial support and augmenting

revenue. The success of the Foundation is

set out in the pages ahead, where you will

read of the Library’s many supporters.

The John T. Reid Charitable Trusts have long

been generous and thoughtful supporters

of the Library, and this year has been no

exception. Over the next three years they

will support the Open Access Program,

which will connect around 17 per cent of

students from disadvantaged schools in

Years 6 and 8 with the Library’s education

programs and exhibitions.

Both the slv21 program and the

Library’s current strategic plan will conclude

in June 2010. Consequently, during the year

the Board began considering the Library’s

strategic directions for 2010 and beyond.

Partnering with Victoria’s public

libraries enables the Board not only to work

with colleagues who share our goals, but

also to shape and contribute to research

and programs that will benefit all Victorians.

This report details the achievements of the

first year of the triennium of new projects

commenced under the aegis of the

Statewide Public Library Development

Projects. These projects are both significant

and strategic, representing a collegiate

relationship that is the envy of

other jurisdictions.

In my role as Chair of the Board’s

Advisory Committee on Public Libraries

I have visited many of Victoria’s public

libraries and am impressed by the unfailing

enthusiasm and insight with which they

serve their communities.

One of the state’s thriving community

organisations, the Royal Historical Society

of Victoria, celebrated its centenary in May

2009. The Library was pleased to assist in

commemorating this anniversary as a small

acknowledgement of our debt to the Society

which, in its early years, played a major role

in encouraging the state and the Library to

preserve the documentary heritage

of Victoria.

This report provides me with

a welcome opportunity to thank all of the

Library’s volunteers, including members of

the Library Board of Victoria, and those who

serve on the Board’s committees,

particularly the State Library of Victoria

Foundation Executive committee.

The generosity with which they deploy their

time, energy, goodwill and expertise on

behalf of the Library is inspiring.

As a consequence of relocating

to Sydney, Professor Vijoleta Braach-

Maksvytis resigned from the Board in July

2008. Her contribution to the deliberations

of the Board place us in her debt.

The Board welcomed the

reappointment of Robyn Annear and the

appointment of Professor Merran Evans,

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Quality)

at Monash University. Their skills in

administration, governance, policy, research

and strategic planning will serve

the Board well.

The Board is deeply grateful to the

Hon. Lynne Kosky MP, Minister for the Arts,

for her manifest support of the Library.

The counsel we received from

Penny Hutchinson, Director of Arts Victoria,

and her senior colleagues, particularly

Dennis Carmody, was, as always,

immensely useful.

The staff of the State Library of

Victoria take pride in advancing the

institution’s role in supporting learning,

scholarship, curiosity, cultural life and

community. They do so with industry,

innovation and intelligence, conscious

of the extraordinary legacy of which

they are stewards.

It is therefore heartening to receive

tributes such as this one from a resident

of Mentone: ‘I have nothing but praise for

the staff at the State Library!! Every time

I have a query, they are polite, really helpful

and always enthusiastic. It is always a

pleasure to come to SLV and I must add that

even now, two decades later, it is STILL my

children’s favourite destination in the city!’

President, Library Board of Victoria

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Over the course of the year the Library

enabled deeper searching of its online

material, implemented a system for

managing digital objects for better access,

and introduced a streamlined system

to support the digital delivery of material.

We also began the redevelopment of our

main website, which is a gateway to

information, services, and the Library’s

catalogue providing direct access to

digitised resources and licensed

databases. As it is the principal platform

for the delivery of online services, we aim

to improve the way its content is managed

and enhance the online user’s experience.

Two major resources were released

online. The first is the Victoria Government

Gazette (1836–1997), which is the result

of collaboration with Land Victoria and the

Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

The Library also released significant runs

of The Argus. This was the result of a

collaboration, led by the National Library

of Australia with the state and territory

libraries, to provide free online access to

digitised Australian newspapers published

between 1803 and 1954. This ambition took

form in July 2008 with the launch of the

Australian Newspapers beta website. With

over 370,000 pages available by 30 June

2009, and thousands of pages added each

week, this website revolutionises research

using historic newspapers. The first

Victorian titles contributed to the site are

The Melbourne Argus and The Argus.

Alongside these significant online

successes, work continued to support the

increased use of the Swanston Street site

and the widening range of activities offered

at the Library. The new service model better

supports patrons with equipment use,

registrations, library systems and directions.

It also increases the number of hours

available for librarians to assist users online,

further develop our online reference

services, and create content in areas of

collection and subject expertise.

Mindful of the power of collaboration

in defining and resolving issues and forging

new ways of working, the Library is an active

participant in the Re-imagining Libraries

project of National and State Libraries

Australasia (NSLA). This ambitious program

brings together Australia’s state, territory and

national libraries, and the National Library

of New Zealand, to shape policy and

strategy based on research, evidence and


On 20 August 2008, the Hon. Lynne

Kosky MP, Minister for the Arts, announced

that UNESCO had designated Melbourne

as a City of Literature. Such recognition

celebrates the vitality of the many pillars

of literature – writers, readers, illustrators,

translators, publishers, booksellers,

designers, festivals, governments and

libraries to name a few. We were delighted

that Melbourne’s literary history and

contemporary zest were so honoured.

In November we welcomed a delegation

from the greater north area of the

United Kingdom and colleagues from the

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust

to both explore the literary experience

offered by Melbourne and build networks.

At the end of April 2009, the Library

launched The Independent Type: Books and

Writing in Victoria exhibition and associated

events and learning programs – our toast to

Melbourne’s accolade as a City of Literature.

The February bushfires galvanised

an extraordinary official and community

response in Victoria and nationally. We were

pleased to play our part. The fires affected

11 of Victoria’s 45 public library services,

and our immediate concern was to support

colleagues in these areas and to assist the

coordination and communication efforts

of Public Libraries Victoria Network and

the Australian Library and Information

Association (ALIA). The following weeks saw

Vicnet assisting with the streaming of the

National Day of Mourning Service on the

Premier’s website, the development of an

online resource guide about bushfires in

Victoria, the prioritisation of the digitisation

of newspapers from bushfire-affected

communities, webcasting at the Library

of the proceedings of the 2009 Victorian

Bushfires Royal Commission and

commencement of the longer term

responsibility of documenting the impact

of, and the recovery from, the bushfires.

In April, the Treasurer approved

capital funding of $2 million for the urgent

remedial work on the facades of buildings

on La Trobe and Russell streets. This very

welcome financial support will assist us to

stop the deterioration which poses serious

occupational health and safety issues.

As the President has mentioned,

preparatory thinking commenced about

the strategic directions of the Library from

July 2010. This will continue to be a

focus for the year ahead.

The Library concluded work on three

specific plans in the course of the year:

⚫– Volunteer Action Plan which outlines

how we will build a stronger volunteer

network to expand services to

the community

⚫– ResourceSmart Strategy and Action Plan

which has already reduced electricity

consumption in the last year by five

per cent, increased the amount of

GreenPower used and decreased the

amount of waste generated

⚫– Disability Plan which establishes an

up-to-date, strategic framework and

policy and provides an action plan

to remove obstacles for people with

disabilities to access both the Library

and the collection.

The President recorded his admiration for

the staff of the Library and I can only add my

acclamation. We were enormously proud of:

⚫– Gail Schmidt’s recognition by ALIA as the

Library Technician of the Year

⚫– Alice Cannon’s citation as Conservator of

the Year by the Australian Institute for

the Conservation of Cultural Materials

⚫– John Stanley-Rogers' celebration of

50 years of service to the Library

⚫– Andrew Cunningham’s award from

the Australian Saay Harari Association

for developing the keyboard layout

and orthographic mapping for the

Harari language.

Once again, we have sought to invigorate

our stewardship and pursuit of vital longterm

goals by intelligent, strategic and

deft innovation. The pages ahead tell that

story. We trust that you find it compelling.

Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian

Victorians will have ready

access to a comprehensive

collection of Victorian

documentary material and

to worldwide information

resources to enrich their

cultural, educational, social

and economic lives.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

We recognise and embrace new

technologies, ideas and opportunities to

improve, grow and develop as individuals

and as industry leaders in a challenging


We work together and with partners,

sharing knowledge and resources to

advance universal access to information.

We work to understand, connect and meet

the needs and expectations of our

communities in the most appropriate ways.

We provide an outstanding service at all

times in a professional and ethical manner.

We strive to create an open and caring

community by valuing and supporting

individuals, and acknowledging the

strength of diversity.

This defining concept has guided the

Library through 155 years of our history,

re-emerging in different expressions over

the years, but remaining fundamentally

the same – providing Victorians with ready

access to a continually expanding world

of knowledge.

As we entered the 21st century, we

re-expressed our founder’s principle in the

tagline ‘Information. Ideas. Inspiration.

For Everyone.’ adopted in 2003 and then a

few years later, when we embarked on the

slv21 strategy, we declared the Library’s

aspiration for the digital age to ‘put

information into the hands of all Victorians

when and where they want it’.

In the last three to four years, we

have successfully pursued this ambition,

offering services and programs to increasing

numbers of Victorians. Visitors to the

Swanston Street building now number more

than 1.5 million and visits to our websites

have reached close to six million.

There are many reasons why people

come to the Library, but in recent years these

have changed. While we still attract the

traditional core of library users – researchers

and students – people from all backgrounds

and of all ages now come to the Library

to pursue a wide range of activities

and interests.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Many now see the Library as a place

of recreation where they can use the free

internet and wifi facilities, meet for a coffee

or lunch in the Mr Tulk café, buy a book in

the new Readings bookshop located in the

foyer, take a tour of one of the temporary or

permanent exhibitions, or simply admire

the magnificent architecture of the building

– such an important part of Victoria’s

built heritage.

Others come to relax in one of our

many public spaces where they can browse

magazines and books, play a game of chess,

listen to music, read newspapers from all

over the world, or try out video games using

the latest technology.

Others again set aside their

evenings to attend an array of events held

at the Library during the year. Events such

as lectures by leading thinkers and

internationally renowned speakers, forums

on anything from the role of sport in war to

digital storytelling and gaming, talks in

which collection specialists provide insights

into unique aspects of the Library’s

extraordinary collections, or free film

screenings that are part of the seasonal

Outside-In Cinema program.

People of all ages also come to the

Library to learn. They come for free workshops

on using the Library’s collections, including

new user orientation sessions and

specialised genealogy workshops; for

programs that will help them to refine their

Google searches or locate information in

online databases. Pre-schoolers come with

their families to read, create, explore and play

with books and technology in Experimedia;

primary school aged children come to learn

about the Library and aspects of Victorian

history in programs like My Library

Adventure and Make Your Own Ned Kelly

Helmet; secondary students come to hone

their research skills in workshops, as well

as to learn about the joy of books and

writing at Centre for Youth Literature events.

Such a vast and diverse range

of people come through the doors

of 328 Swanston Street every single day.

But what do we know about them?

The Library’s annual customer

survey provides some fascinating insights.

In 2008–09 more than 40 per cent of these

visitors were under 25 years old, while

only 22 per cent were over 45 years. There

has also been a significant shift towards

younger users in recent years.

Interestingly, there is no particular

bias towards male or female visitors. They

come in roughly equal numbers. Fifty-six

per cent of them earn less than $25,000

a year and 13 per cent are unemployed

(almost a doubling of the previous year’s

figure). Thirty-three per cent of our visitors

do not speak English at home. Among

frequent users of the Library, who visit every

one to three weeks, 74 per cent are under

25. (See page 36 for more information about

our annual customer survey.)

Providing free access to information,

ideas and inspiration for these people is an

important part of the way Sir Redmond

Barry’s vision for the Library continues

to be made a reality.

Of course, not all of our visitors come

to the Library’s city site. Increasingly, they

visit us via one of our websites to find

information, get access to the collection, use

our online services or explore beautiful, rare

and historically significant items featured

in one of many interactive displays.

People all over Victoria visit the

Library’s catalogues, viewing more and more

of our collections as digital images online.

They register as Library users and then

consult a wide range of online resources

such as newspapers and full-text articles

in journals and magazines. And if they need

help with a research question, they can chat

online, in real time, with a skilled librarian.

Our online visitors can also view

highlights from our current exhibitions, read

entertaining and informative articles about

aspects of the Library’s collections on the

La Trobe Journal website and find a wealth

of information about the state in the

Victoria Government Gazette (1836–1997).

They can explore the Mirror of the World

website, which showcases items from the

impressive Rare Books Collection, discover

some of the Library’s precious objects on

the Treasures website or share their own

on Your Treasures.

School children and their teachers

can find learning resources linked to the

Victorian curriculum, as well as get help with

research and study skills, on the ergo

website (which attracted 190,915 visitors

in the last year). Or they can visit the Centre

for Youth Literature’s Inside a Dog website

to read and submit book reviews, follow

blog posts by visiting authors, download

audio and vote for their favourite young

adult literature book.

The Library’s websites are also a

great way for people across Victoria to find

information about our range of regionally

based programs. These include the

immensely popular Travelling Treasures

program, which takes specific collection

items to schools and libraries around

Victoria. Delivered by a team of teachers

and collection experts, this program gives

people outside Melbourne opportunities

to see and learn about objects that are

priceless parts of the state’s heritage.

They also include programs to increase

internet training and access for specific

groups in the community. Mainly delivered

through Vicnet, these programs focus on

unemployed people, Victorians living in

rural and regional areas, Victorians with

a disability, Indigenous Victorians, and

people over 55 years of age. One program

that was particularly successful this year –

internet training for older Victorians from

non-English speaking backgrounds –

contributed enormously to this group’s

quality of life by helping them to connect

with their family and friends online, as well

as access news and information in their

own languages. This work is supported by

the MyLanguage portal, a consortium

project among Australian state libraries,

led by Vicnet. The portal provides access

to online material in more than 60

community languages and attracts more

than two million visitors a year.

So, in 2009, 155 years after Sir

Redmond Barry articulated his founding

vision, we continue to pursue our mission to

be a Library for all Victorians and contribute

to the vibrant cultural life of the state.

Harnessing the best of 21st-century

technology and emerging library practice

to shape our programs, we will continue to

provide Victorians with a rich and rewarding

experience, whether they visit in person

at 328 Swanston Street or through their

desktops from the furthest reaches

of the state.

Historian Les Carlyon opens

the Australian War Memorial

travelling exhibition Sport and

War. This exhibition explores

the role sport and war played

in shaping Australia’s

national identity.

The National Library of Australia

launches the Australian

Newspapers beta website.

Providing online access to

historic Australian newspapers,

the State Library of Victoria

contributes issues of

The Melbourne Argus and

The Argus to the site.

The Collection Storage

Masterplan is completed.

The plan details the projects

and funding required for onsite

and offsite storage until 2017.

The Hon. Lindsay Tanner,

Member for Melbourne and

Federal Minister for Finance

and Deregulation, delivers the

annual Redmond Barry Lecture.

His topic, ‘New Paths to an Open

Australia’, investigates the

question of whether Australia

will become an open society.

B.A. Santamaria: Running the

Show is co-published by the

Miegunyah Press. This

publication is a companion

volume to Your Most Obedient

Servant: B.A.Santamaria

Selected Letters, 1938–1996.

In August we celebrate the

publication with a panel

discussion chaired by Ian Renard,

Chancellor of the University

of Melbourne.


The Hon. Lynne Kosky MP,

Minister for the Arts, announces

that Melbourne has been

designated a City of Literature

by UNESCO. Later in the year

the Library will celebrate this

honour with a new exhibition.

Conservation treatment of

the 13th-century Codex Santi

Paschalis is completed.

Inga Lunden, Director of the

Stockholm Library Service,

delivers a talk to State Library

of Victoria and public library

staff on new ways of looking

at libraries.

Baroness Professor Susan

Greenfield, Director of the Royal

Institution of Great Britain,

delivers a lecture on the quest

for identity in an increasingly

digital age.

Conservation treatment begins

on the 1865 Victorian Geological

Survey Map following its

donation by the Geological

Survey of Ireland. The map was

produced by the Geological

Survey of Victoria between

1859 and 1865 and measures

4.58 x 3.52 metres.

State Library and public library

staff deliver three papers

at the Australian Library and

Information Association (ALIA)

biennial conference in Alice

Springs. The papers focus on

initiatives relating to the

conservation of local history

collections, guidelines for

reaching disadvantaged groups,

and a program to engage the

Koorie community.

As part of the Melbourne Writers

Festival, the Library hosts the

2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary

Awards. Premier John Brumby

presents the awards, worth

$210,000 in prize money.

A panel discussion, The Culture

of Book Collecting, is held at the

Library as part of the inaugural

Rare Book Month (organised by

the Australian and New Zealand

Association of Antiquarian


Ten arts agencies sign the

Victorian State Collection

Emergency Response

Memorandum of Understanding.

Each institution agrees to provide

staff and resources if an

emergency affecting any of the

state collections occurs.

Maxine Morand, Minister for

Early Childhood Development,

launches the third stage of the

State Government’s Young

Readers Program. The Library

will distribute over 57,000 literacy

packs including booklets and

DVDs to every Victorian baby at

four months via local libraries

and Maternal and Child

Health services.

The Library’s three online

catalogues are merged into one

database. Users can now search

the entire catalogue via

one interface.

The Margery C Ramsay

Scholarship, valued at $30,000,

is presented to Joanne Smith

from Hobsons Bay Libraries to

research the changing face

of customer service and its

influence on the design

of libraries.

The Victorian state final of the

2008 Australian Poetry Slam

is held at the Library. The event

is broadcast live across Victoria

by the ABC’s local radio program

The Coodabeens.

Historian Professor Geoffrey

Blainey AC presents the 2008

Stephen Murray Smith lecture

on the subject Writing Australian

History: A few recollections.

The Library hosts a delegation

from literary organisations

in the greater north area of

the United Kingdom and from

Edinburgh UNESCO City

of Literature Trust.

Reader’s Feast and the Library

present The Right Honourable

the Lord Patten of Barnes,

Chancellor of the University of

Oxford, discussing What Next?

Surviving the 21st Century.

Beyond the Persona, a small

exhibition of portraits of

distinguished Victorian women

painted by Caroline Williams,

opens in the Cowen Gallery.

This exhibition is part of the

official celebrations of the

Centenary of Women’s Suffrage

in Victoria.

National multilingual portal

MyLanguage wins the Microsoft

Information Technology Award

in the Community Relations

Commission (NSW) National

Multicultural Marketing Award.

The portal was developed by

Vicnet on behalf of several state

and territory libraries.

The Library welcomes an official

cultural delegation from

Nanjing, China.

An additional 205 electronic

serials are offered for the first

time to the Library’s online users.

Titles include Contemporary

Literature, China Quarterly,

Popular Music, and Weatherwise.

Studio: Australian Painters

photographed by R. Ian Lloyd,

an exhibition celebrating the

work of 61 contemporary artists,

opens in the Keith Murdoch


Boys, Blokes, Books & Bytes

reading program for teenage

boys wins the Arts Portfolio

Leadership Award. The program

was created by the Library’s

Centre for Youth Literature,

in partnership with the

Department of Education and

Early Childhood Development.

Matt Viney MP launches the

Internet Training for People with

a Disability program. Run by

Vicnet, this program will provide

community organisations with

equipment and training to

support people with a disability

to use the internet.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09


The Medieval Imagination

documentary is screened on SBS

Television. Produced by Philippe

Charluet, the documentary

is based on the Library’s first

major international exhibition.

Visitors to the Library’s

Swanston Street building

exceed one million.

Allan Brough, ABC broadcaster

and television host, announces

the top five Victorian books

in the 2008–09 Summer Read

program. This year the program

attracted 2200 people to 41

events across Victoria.

Construction begins on the

Centre for Books, Writing and

Ideas, in the Verdon and Barry

buildings on the south-western

side of the Library site.

Conservation work on Captain

Cook’s waistcoat begins.

The waistcoat will tour in the

Library’s upcoming Travelling

Treasures program.

The Information Centre is

reconfigured to provide a more

user-friendly visitor experience.

Changes include moving the

information and book collection

desks and improving signage.

Victorians attending Library

programs delivered in regional

Victoria exceed 10,000.

The Library responds to

the Black Saturday bushfires

by making key documents

and resources available online,

and providing support through

the public library network.

Colleagues from the Scottish

Library and Information Council

work with State Library of

Victoria and public library

staff to develop an evaluation

and continuous improvement

framework for Victoria’s

public libraries.

Disability Action Plan is lodged

with the Human Rights and

Equal Opportunity Commission.

The plan outlines how the

Library can provide equality

of access for and treatment

of people with a disability.

Readings Pty Ltd opens a

bookshop in the Library foyer.

The Library Executive approves

the creation of a Staff Alumni

program to encourage former

staff to continue their connection

with the Library.

In celebration of Melbourne’s

status as a UNESCO City of

Literature, the Library opens

The Independent Type: Books

and Writing in Victoria exhibition

in the Keith Murdoch Gallery.

The State Library of Victoria

touring exhibition Victorians

on Vacation closes at the

Mornington Peninsula Regional

Gallery after having been seen

by more than 18,000 people

during its tour to regional Victoria

in 2008 and 2009.

The Library completes the

conservation, cataloguing and

digitising of more than 3000

19th-century large-format

photographs, printed materials

and ephemera. The three-year

project was funded by Perpetual


In support of the Library Books

for Timor-Leste fundraising

campaign, the Library hosts a

lecture by Timor-Leste’s Goodwill

Ambassador for Education,

Kirsty Sword Gusmao, and the

former Premier of Victoria

the Hon. Steve Bracks.

Visitors to the Library’s

exhibitions exceed 400,000.

The State Government approves

$1 million of funding for detailed

feasibility studies and planning

of the future restoration and

refurbishment of Queen’s Hall.

Reading Matters, Australia’s

biennial youth literature

conference, attracts 850

students and 300 professionals

over a period of three days.

The Victoria Government Gazette

(1836–1997) website goes live,

providing access to over 160

years of official information

published in and about Victoria.

The site contains images of

every relevant page in the

Victoria Government Gazette

produced between 1836 and

1997, as well as searchable

indexes for each publication.

The Library launches its

Volunteer Action Plan, which

aims to encourage Victorians

to participate in short- and

long-term volunteering activities.

The Library implements the

first stage of the Digital Object

Management System (DOMS).

Online users are now able to

access and view digitised

images, as well as download

high-resolution images, from

the Library website.

Cataloguing the Vic Spitzer

Mountaineering Collection

is completed. Donated by

Mr Vic Spitzer, the collection

consists of 1200 volumes on

mountaineering and exploration

– one of the largest private

collections on this subject

in Australia.

ResourceSmart Strategy

(Environmental Action Plan),

outlining a comprehensive

strategy for environmentally

sustainable actions, is lodged

with Sustainability Victoria.

Mary Ronnie, one of New

Zealand’s most distinguished

librarians, delivers the 2009

Foxcroft Lecture on the subject

Carnegie Down Under: A Century

of the Dunedin Public Library.

Revenue from government 88,219 77,579 82,106 78,449 72,957 68,748

Other revenue 14,692 14,330 11,789 13,118 12,127 16,107

Total revenue 102,911 91,909 93,895 91,567 85,084 84,855

Result from ordinary activities 1,093 (2,309) 5,654 5,948 6,451 5,421

Cash flow from operating activities 11,663 745 (31) 4,047 (1,528) 5,251

Total assets 815,039 800,629 805,813 750,392 728,908 723,240

Total liabilities 11,444 7,880 8,776 8,767 7,391 8,175

Notes Increased revenue and cash flow for year reflects additional capital funding of $12,085,616 for construction of the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Collections, Content and Information Resources

Unique Victorian material digitised and available for online access 1 274,288 389,125 316,190

Percentage of unique Victorian material digitised 2 38% 53% 43%

Total digital titles/databases accessible 3 106,022 91,300 113,943

Items added to the collection 4 46,464 53,680 61,331

Items added to the catalogue 60,458 49,550 54,823

Access and Engagement

Programs delivered in regional Victoria – number 5 235 250 272

Programs delivered in regional Victoria – attendance 12,305 10,480 13,721

Programs delivered in regional Victoria – satisfaction 92% 95% 97%

Students attending education program sessions – number 6 1088 700 704

Students attending education program sessions – attendance 6 35,072 25,700 22,743

Students attending education program sessions – reach 7 4% 3% 3%

Students attending education program sessions – satisfaction 97% 95% 97%

Online visitors to State Library of Victoria websites 8 7,948,239 9,011,767 5,790,807

Customer satisfaction with overall online experience 75% 75% 74%

Visitors to State Library 9 1,583,883 1,300,000 1,528,533

Satisfaction with overall Library experience 96% 90% 92%

Infrastructure Skills and Partnerships

Increase the Foundation’s capital funds base 10 $13.2M $15.7M $12.6M

Develop philanthropic support for digitising unique Victorian material 11 $419,432 $500,000 $378,364

Deliver the Library’s services to budgeted surplus/deficit 12 30.3% +/-10% (16%)

Value of training per FTE staff member 13 $921 $950 $816

Online visits to collaborative public library websites 14 3,216,240 2,800,000 2,098,347


1 The total number of items originating in Victoria where the Library holds the only known copy that have been digitised for online access. A large portion of the

Library’s digitising program is dependent on philanthropic funds. A significant tightening in the philanthropic market due to the worsening global financial

conditions has made it difficult to secure the required support.

2 The total number of items that have been digitised as a percentage of all identified unique Victorian material. Please refer to note 1 for commentary.

3 Includes electronic journals and electronic books in databases, independent electronic journals and books, websites and online publications in PANDORA,

CD-ROMs and DVDs. It also includes the provision of links through the catalogue to external electronic resources not owned or administered by the State Library

of Victoria. The total number of titles can vary throughout the year and from one year to the next as titles are regularly assessed on their benefit to the community.

4 Figures reflect acquisition of books, journals, newspapers, pictures, CD-ROMs, sounds and video recordings, as well as maps by purchase, donation and through

legal deposit that are accessioned during the year. There is a variation between items added to the collection and volumes added to stock (see pages 26–27).

This is caused by an estimate of non-accessioned pictures being included in the volumes added to the stock table. Only accessioned pictures are included

in the Items Added to the Collection KPI.

5 Applies to all activities conducted in regional Victoria as defined in the Regional Development Victoria Act 2002 and the Alpine Resorts Act 1983.

6 This includes K-12 students. Adult learning is included in the Output framework as OG2a community engagement activities. In 2008-09 the Library introduced

longer workshops designed to deliver improved educational outcomes. This had a slight impact on the number of students engaging in education programs.

7 The number of student participants as a percentage of the total Victorian K-12 enrolment.

8 Online visitors are measured as user sessions and include all Library websites including the Vicnet portal. There was a decline in visitation to the Vicnet portal

as an outcome of the changes to the Vicnet business model. In addition to this, an upgrade to web software on the Library’s websites has compromised the

current analytical tool and specifically its ability to count visitation numbers on all pages in the catalogue. Many of the Library’s websites made possible by

slv21 continued to exceed expectations. The ergo website performed exceptionally well, with visits 218 per cent above target. Visitors to the Library exceeded

target by 18 per cent. This is in line with steady growth over the past three years and is driven by slv21 initiatives.

9 Visitors to the Library exceeded target by 18 per cent. The end of year result is 3 per cent below the 2007–08 performance, which was bolstered by the Medieval

Imagination exhibition. The result is in line with steady growth over the past three years and is driven by slv21 initiatives.

10 This is measured at 30 June. This target was set in early 2007 and based on previous performance. The worsening global financial conditions have resulted

in a decrease in the Foundation’s capital funds base.

11 See note 1.

12 This is measured against the budgeted surplus/deficit for appropriated government funding (fund source 01) at 30 June and is prior to audit clearance.

Despite considerable pressures on expenditure, significant progress was made towards managing the deficit within 10 per cent of appropriated budget.

13 The value of training per FTE staff member was reduced to offset financial pressures on the Library’s operations.

14 Collaborative websites include Victoria’s Virtual Library, MyLanguage, Picture Victoria and two Open Road sites. Visits to these websites have been impacted

by changes in methodologies and use of various analytical tools as outlined in note 8.

Additional Key Performance Indicators used by the State Library of Victoria under the Output Framework can be viewed on pages 18–19.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Output Group 1 – Guardianship of the State Collections

OG1a Collection development and enhancement

Acquisitions and de-accessions in accordance with collection

100% 100%

development policies /strategic directions

OG1b Collection management

New acquisitions (acquired in current FY), electronically registered

to industry standard against agreed targets

100% 100%

G3 Collection stored to industry standard against agreed targets. [BP3] 100% 100%

Output Group 2 – Access and Participation

G1 G1 OG2a Community engagement activities

G4 G1 Events 739 910

G4 G1 Attendees 36,750 39,704

G4 G1 Volunteer hours [BP3] 1 3,400 2,534

G4 G1 Members and Friends [BP3] 870 872

G2 G1 OG2b Community use of facilities

G1 G1 Access – attendances/users [BP3] 2 1,300,000 1,528,533

G2 G1 Events 300 393

G2 G1 OG2c Education programs

G2 G1 Students attending educational programs [BP3] 25,700 22,743

G2 G1 Teachers attending capability improvement programs and workshops 3 580 2,218

G2 G1 OG2d Exhibitions and displays

G2 G1 Events 8 11

G2 G1 Attendees 4 350,000 447,654

G2 G1 OG2h Public access to collection/information

G2 G1 Virtual access to collection 100% 100%

G2 G1 Physical access to collection (either managed or open) 100% 100%

G2 G1 Access – visitors to website [BP3] 5 9,011,767 5,790,807

G2 G1 OG2i Visitor experience activities

G2 G1 Hours per week public has physical access to site 68 68

G4 G3 Visitors satisfied with visit [BP3] 90% 92%

Output Group 3 – Sector Development

G2 G1 OG3a Professional development and other services

G2 G1 Collaborative projects with NGOs/agencies 10 10

G2 G1 Percentage of participants rating training sessions as good to excellent 90% 97%

Output Group 4 – Distinctive and Iconic Buildings, Sites and Facilities

G5 G3 OG4a Facility development

Facility development plan currency 1 1

G5 G3 OG4b Facility management and preservation

G5 G3 Percentage of agreed milestones met in line

with asset-management plans

80% 80%

G5 G3 Percentage of milestones met in line with risk-management plan 80% 80%

G5 G3 Conditions of assets as a percentage of new 70% 75%

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Priority Area – Collections Content and Information Resources

G2 G2 Unique Victorian material digitised and available for online access 160,000 41,902

G2 G2 Percentage of unique Victorian materials digitised 53% 43%

G2 G2 Total digital titles/databases accessible 91,300 113,943

G1 Items added to the collection 53,680 61,331

G1 Items added to the catalogue 49,550 54,823

Priority Area – Access and Engagement

G1 Programs delivered in regional Victoria 250 272

G1 Attendance 10,480 13,721

G1 Satisfaction 95% 97%

G2 G1 Students attending education program sessions (excludes online sessions) 700 704

G2 G1 Attendance 25,700 22,743

G2 G1 Reach 3% 3%

G2 G1 Satisfaction 95% 97%

G2 G1 Online visitors to State Library of Victoria websites (user sessions) 9,011,767 5,790,807

G2 G1 Customer satisfaction with overall online experience 75% 74%

G1 G1 Visitors to the State Library 1,300,000 1,528,533

G1 G1 Customer satisfaction with overall library experience 90% 92%

Priority Area – Infrastructure, Skills and Relationships

G4 Increase the Foundation’s capital funds base $15.7M $12.6M


Develop philanthropic support for digitising

$500,000 $378,364

unique Victorian material

G4 Deliver the Library’s services to budget (+/-) 10% (16%)

G2 G2 Value of training per FTE staff member $950 $816

CC+ refers to the State Government’s arts policy, Creative Capacity+: Arts for all Victorians. It has three goals:

G1: Arts for all Victorians: a culture of participation

G2: On the threshold: an economy based on innovation

G3: Creative place: a dynamic arts sector.

It also outlines four strategies to achieve these goals:

S1: Developing artists, ideas and knowledge

S2: Engaging creative communities

S3: Building creative industries

S4: Creating place and space.

GVT refers to Growing Victoria Together, a ten-year vision that articulates what is important to Victorians and the

priorities that the government has set to build a better society. The vision includes ten goals:

G1: More quality jobs and thriving, innovative industries across Victoria

G2: Growing and linking all of Victoria

G3: High-quality, accessible health and community services

G4: High-quality education and training for lifelong learning

G5: Protecting the environment for future generations

G6: Efficient use of natural resources

G7: Building friendly, confident and safe communities

G8: A fairer society that reduces disadvantage and respects diversity

G9: Greater public participation and more accountable government

G10: Sound financial management.

Notes For comments relating to the Library’s nominated key performance indicators please refer to the notes accompanying

the 2008–09 key performance indicators table on page 15.

1 Volunteer hours are 25 per cent below target for 2008–09 due to a downturn in the number of volunteers, as well as the number and range of projects the Library

was able to offer to our volunteers. The Volunteer Action Plan, launched in May 2009, outlines opportunities for volunteering in a wider range of Library activities.

2 Visitors to the Library exceeded target by 18 per cent.

This is in line with steady growth over the past three years and shows a continuation of the momentum begun as a result of slv21 initiatives.

3 Programs to promote and educate teachers about ergo were delivered at a number of targeted regional schools as well as in metropolitan areas.

The program was delivered to more than 50 schools, reaching 1271 teachers.

4 The success of the Medieval Imagination exhibition in 2007–08 has raised the profile of the Library’s

exhibition program with above-target attendance at all permanent and temporary exhibitions.

5 Online visitors are measured as user sessions. These are measured on all Library websites including the Vicnet portal. There was a decline in visitation to the

Vicnet portal as an outcome of the changes to the Vicnet business model. In addition to this, an upgrade to web software on the Library’s websites has

compromised the current analytical tool and specifically its ability to count visitation numbers on all pages in the catalogue. Many of the Library’s websites,

made possible by slv21, continued to exceed expectations. The ergo website performed exceptionally well, with visits 218 per cent above target.

Whole-of-Government Initiatives

International strategies

The Library continued to strengthen its

relationships in the international library

community. In addition to our Memorandum

of Understanding with the National Library

Board of Singapore, and partnerships to

raise public awareness for the struggling

libraries of the world’s newest nation,

Timor-Leste, the Library hosted official

visits and delegations from all parts

of the globe.

Culturally sensitive service delivery

In 2008–09 the Library provided a range

of services for culturally and linguistically

diverse communities. These included

internet programs for senior citizens,

research on the language maintenance

needs of emerging communities, translation

of training materials and an expansion of

genealogical resources to reflect Victoria’s

ethnic diversity. The Library also continued

to host the MyLanguage portal, which

delivers over six million information links

in more than 60 languages.

Over the past year, the Library

promoted Indigenous culture through the

Creative Fellowship program, exhibition

and education programs and through

participation in the federal collaborative

OzIndigneous Search Project. See page 77

for more information about this project.

Disability Action Plan

An audit and review of services resulted in

a revised Disability Action Plan, ensuring

that the State Library of Victoria meets its

responsibilities under the Victorian Disability

Act 2006. The plan identifies and outlines

areas where the Library will, in the coming

years, improve access to facilities,

information services and employment

to support people with a disability.

Collaborative Initiatives

Shared services

Ten arts agencies signed the Victorian

State Collection Emergency Response

Memorandum of Understanding, with each

institution agreeing to provide staff and

resources in the event of an emergency

affecting any of the state collections.

The agencies also agreed to establish

a regular forum for promoting best practice

emergency response for these

important collections.

The Library continued to provide

human resource management and payroll

services to the National Gallery of Victoria

through the Aurion database.

During 2008–09, the Library

continued its work with Arts Victoria and

portfolio agencies to assess opportunities

for expansion of shared services. As a result,

work was initiated to establish joint storage

for disaster recovery with Museum Victoria.

Cultural agencies finalised a

Memorandum of Understanding to work

collaboratively in disaster response

management. A plan was also developed

that will see the Library providing Information

and Communication Technologies (ICT)

services to the new Centre for Books,

Writing and Ideas when it commences

operations in 2009.

Library Board of Victoria Annual Report 08⁄09

Agency and NGO programming

During 2008–09 the Library Board of Victoria

and the Victorian Public Library Network

worked collaboratively on a range of

projects. These included starting work on

digitising many of Victoria’s earliest regional

newspapers; preparing a panel version of

The Independent Type: Books and Writing

in Victoria exhibition for touring to public

libraries; developing Being the Best We Can,

an evaluation and continuous improvement

framework for Victoria’s public libraries;

scoping a major piece of work on the

economic contribution of Victoria’s public

libraries; and extending the State

Library’s Shared Leadership program into

the public library network.

The Library also continued to support

two Australian Research Council (ARC)

research projects: Cultural Collections,

Creators & Copyright (University of

Melbourne), and the Australian Information

Seekers and the Social Consequences

of Information Policy (Swinburne University

of Technology). See page 53 for more


Over the past year, three new

collection-based books were published and

work was finalised on several others. Titles

scheduled for release before the end of

2009 are the result of collaborations with

new publishing partners such as Thames

& Hudson Australia, Hardie Grant Books,

The Five Mile Press and Text Publishing, as

well as with established partners Macmillan

Art Publishing, Australian Scholarly

Publishing and The Miegunyah Press.

See page 47 for more information.

The Library worked with the Georges

Mora Foundation, the La Trobe Society

and the University of Melbourne to provide

fellowships, and also administered the

RE Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script

Development Awards.

Cultural Infrastructure

and Service Strategy

The Library continued its commitment

to working with Arts Victoria on the

development of an over-arching strategic

asset management framework

and service strategy.

Imagination Unlimited

Education programs

The Library continued to engage young

people across the state through the youth

element of outreach programs. The very

popular Travelling Treasures program,

which takes the Library’s treasures on the

road to regional Victoria, visited 35 schools,

with 1653 students attending the sessions.

A further 1711 young Victorians enjoyed

the Bookgig on the Road program.

The success of the ergo and Inside

a Dog websites continued, with over 190,915

visits recorded during the year.

See pages 42–43 for more

information about these programs.

Victorian Cultural Network

The Library continued to work with Arts

Victoria and Victorian cultural agencies to

define the program of work for Stage 2 of the

Victorian Cultural Network. Each agency

will receive funding for developing

educational digital content – websites,

curated content, audio, video and other

formats. This content will be made available

for use by the education sector through

the Department of Education and Early

Childhood Development’s curriculum

content online project Knowledgebank:

Next generation (now known as FUSE).

World-class Arts to Regional Victoria

The Library delivered programs to over

12,500 regional Victorians. As mentioned

above, the Library took important collection

items on tour to regional Victoria with its

Travelling Treasures program. The Library’s

exhibition Victorians on Vacation continued

its tour of the state, entertaining visitors

at Mildura Arts Centre, Warrnambool Art

Gallery and Mornington Peninsula Regional

Gallery. See page 39 for more information.

City of Literature

The Library has managed the restoration

and refurbishment program for the Verdon

and Barry buildings, fronting Little Lonsdale

Street. The refurbished space will become

the home for the Centre for Books, Writing

and Ideas, an initiative of the Victorian State

Government supporting Melbourne’s

status as a UNESCO City of Literature. In

early 2009, the Library celebrated this status

with the opening of the Independent Type:

Books and writing in Victoria exhibition.

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